Home > Contra Dancing > Tacoma Fifth Saturday




March 29, 2014

In the AFTERNOON . . .

Sponsored by the Seattle Folklore Society
Do you have questions about contra that beginner lessons never seem to address? Have you been dancing for a while and feel as though you haven’t learned anything new recently? Do you admire some of those fantastic dancers and want to know their secrets? Just need more time on the dance floor? Want to obtain contra dance nirvana without the travel and expense of a dance weekend?

If any of these questions apply to you, please join us at Wells Hall in Tacoma for a pair of carefully tailored dance workshops designed to elevate your dancing to the next level. Immerse yourself in the intricacies of a graceful partner swing. Focus on dancing in harmony with your partner, your community, and your musicians. Master the execution of a tasteful flourish without committing a faux pas. Appreciate how your dance musicians play for you and the dance moves.

South Sound callers LINDSEY DONO and JAY FINKELSTEIN will lead these workshops, which will be accompanied with the refreshing music of FRESH CIDER (see below). The first workshop, from 1:30 to 3:20, will be for intermediate dancers. All attendees of the first workshop are invited to remain and help out in the second workshop, which will begin at 3:30 and end around 5:20. This workshop will focus on the topics that trip up beginners even after attending 30 min pre-dance mini-lessons (and often stymie even long-time dancers).

For those experienced dancers who stay to help out in the beginners' session, Lindsey and Mark will offer some " dancer treats"; special moves and secrets,
right after the second workshop ends.

To encourage all to attend, the cost of attending one or both of these workshops is a mere $10.00. A 10% discount will be available to Seattle Folklore Society members who request it. The location will be Christ Church Wells Hall. (The address and directions are the same as for the evening dance; please see below.)

Uncertain which workshop is best for you? Contact Lindsey at   (You know what to do w/ the ZZZ.)

Geezer wisdom; just sayin . . . In past days, when we were first learning to contra dance in Puget Sound, there were afternoon workshops 1x-2x yearly. Many of the longstanding dancers whom you see on the floor, dancing effortlessly, got our starts in these workshops.



Hope you'll join us, at Wells Hall. Singles, couples, first-timers, and experienced dancers; All are Welcome. No partner needed; Alcohol and smoke-free; Brief mini-lesson for newcomers (see below.) We have a great time, dancers, caller, and musicians too! Sponsored by the Seattle Folklore Society.

Our caller will be JAY FINKELSTEIN, a longstanding musician and contradancer, with a fine appreciation of the relation of tunes and dances. He has a good directive calling style, conveyed in a clear and calming voice. Jay is well known in Olympia as the organizer of the First Saturday dance, and as the backup guitar in both their excellent 1st and 4th Sat house bands, as well as several bands with fiddler Jesse Partridge. You may also know him as a regular dancer in Tacoma, at the Thursday and Friday Seattle dances, and in Olympia when he isn't playing there. The breadth and depth of his experience is reflected in his calling.

FRESH CIDER wraps you in the comfort of a traditional New England sound in its full breadth and glory. From old Yankee hornpipes to late 20th century tunes from the great Bob McQuillen (finally deceased at 90, last month); from Celtic tunes to those from the Shetland Islands and England (including some from Thomas Hardy); leavened by Northwest old time tunes. Chosen to fit the flow of each of Jay's dances and played close to the dancers with rock-solid rhythm. Laurel Stone, fiddle; Phil Katz (of Small Pleasures and many bands preceding), melodeons; Dave Goodmanson, piano, and special guest *Paul Englesberg* on flute, whistle, and concertina. Paul (whom you may remember from several appearances here with Small Pleasures) has played contra dance flute since his college days in New England in the 1970's. He plays with the Bellingham contra and Scottish Country Dance band Up In The Aire, and brings us his background in Scottish Celtic repertoire.

Our band plays "close to the dance and the dancers", choosing our tunes to match the dance chosen by the caller, and our styling to support the dancers as each dance evolves. It is a pleasure to play for our friends out on the dance floor.

Specifics on the Events:

The Afternoon Workshops and the Fifth Saturday Contradance will be held at Christ Church Wells Hall, 310 North K Street, Tacoma - directions below. It is well-known as one of the sweetest halls in Puget Sound. (Note: It's the same location as the Tacoma Contra Dance that's held on Third Saturdays.)

The Evening Dance will run from 8:00 - 11:00 pm. The cost is $9.00, with a $2.00 discount for 18 down and 65 up. As always, a 10% discount will be available to Seattle Folklore Society members who request it.

There will be a newcomers' intro-lesson at 7:30 pm. Contra dancing is "not rocket science". Jay teaches a great introduction, and often gathers "his newcomers" together at the midpoint break-time to impart a few more things, once folks have had some experience out on the floor. We're proud of the tradition of asking newcomers and visitors to dance, and looking after them on the dance floor. (Experienced dancers are invited to bring any friends they've been wanting to introduce to contra dancing, and to help out by dancing in the mini-lesson.)

Please avoid wearing scented products (e.g. perfume, aftershave, cologne, scented hand lotion) to the Fifth Saturday Contra Dance. (Dancing, being aerobic, magnifies their scent, and also the effect of the solvents used therein!) Some dancers are hypersensitive or allergic to such products.

A word about children's attendance: It is fine for older children and teenagers who are comfortable interacting with adults on their own. However, it is not appropriate for small children unless they are on the sidelines supervised by adults at all times.

A caution on parking: The street right across from the hall has been posted as a "residents only" zone, so please don't park there - tickets have been given. There is plenty of parking on adjacent streets, and there are spots behind the church as well.

Directions to Wells Hall   

310 North "K" Street, Tacoma

From Seattle, "Eastside" of Lake Washington, or Des Moines

I-5 south to exit 133 (Tacoma City Center). Then take I-705 and the Schuster Parkway exit on the right (still called I-705). From there again stay right and take the Stadium Way (first) exit from Schuster Pkwy. At the top of the exit ramp, turn right. The street goes up hill. Follow it til it ends, then swing left onto North 1st. You pass Stadium Thriftway and a Chevrolet lot, and then merge into Division at a traffic light. Continue on Division, turn right onto North "K". Wells Hall is the second building on the left. Enter the dance through the church courtyard.

From Olympia

Take Interstate 5 to Tacoma, exit 132 (Route 16-Gig Harbor exit). Follow Route 16 and take the Union Avenue exit and make a right turn. Follow Union to 6th Street and make a right. Follow 6th about a mile to a multi-way intersection; there take a soft left into Division Ave. Follow Division to North "K" Street, where you take a left. Wells Hall is the second building on the left. Or you can take a few extra minutes and come all the way north on I5 to the I-705 exit (Tacoma City Center). Then follow the directions onto Schuster Parkway, etc. as given above.

From West of the Narrows Bridge

Take WA 16 east across the Narrows, and take exit 1B for Union Ave. Keep left at the fork; follow signs for University of Puget Sound. Turn left onto S Union Ave (at which point you'll be northbound.) Go about 1.5 mile and turn right into 6th Avenue. Follow 6th about a mile to a multi-way intersection; there take a soft left into Division Ave. Follow Division to North "K" Street, where you take a left. Wells Hall is the second building on the left.

For more information please contact:
Phil Katz - - 206 722 8228.
(you know what to do with the ZZZ)

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Last modified 03/24/14.